Best Laptops for Architects of 2018 & Buying Guide

Get rid of your old and slow laptop that has no memory left in it. A smart investment for an architect looking for a quality laptop involves having a quality screen to view projects and to show off your schematics. You would benefit from purchasing a laptop that can store and run large files and computer programs.

There are also advantages to purchasing either a traditional laptop or a touch screen laptop. We have put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide listing the best laptops for architects looking to buy.

Ranking

Image

Product

Our Score

Price

Top Pick

Apple MacBook Pro

99/100

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#2

Acer Predator 15

98/100

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#3

Razer Blade Pro

97/100

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#4

ASUS ROG STRIX

95/100

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#5

ASUS VivoBook Pro

94/100

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Why should a laptop have a fast processor (CPU)?

You’ve got deadlines approaching and you need a laptop that’s not going to slow down progress. It’s important to have a laptop with a fast processor because waiting on a computer to turn on isn’t supposed to be your priority. You’ve got important deadlines and large file projects to create.

No one has time for snail slow processing when you’re trying to run necessary programs like AutoCAD or Revit. A fast processor is important if you need to run multiple files and programs all at once.

Why is a solid state hard disk drive (SSD) a great quality for a laptop?

Acting as a brain for the laptop, hard drives are the memory storage center for all your important pictures, documents, and projects. A solid state hard disk drive is superior to a regular hard disk drive because it has no moving parts and can access data much faster than its counterpart.

PC Magazine’s article “SSD vs. HDD: What’s the Difference?” explains programs that use SSD’s can have a decrease in start up time and faster file transfers. This can possibly save you time to attend to other projects and clients.

Why would an architect need a laptop with a quality graphics card?

Graphics cards makes the pixels you see on the screen pop with color and detail. Good graphics cards can make modern 3D and 2D drawings of structures and buildings look more realistic.

With an up to date graphics card you can produce detailed illustrations so your clients vision comes through clearly and vibrantly. Images, presentations, and videos run smoothly if you have a quality graphics card.

In the How Stuff Works article “How Graphics Cards Works”, “The graphics card’s hardware directly affects its speed”. With an older laptop, you’ll be stuck with choppy looking images and videos instead of seamless ones.

Why is it important to have high definition screen resolution (HD)?

High screen resolution or high definition (HD) is important for architects to read small text in important business documents and to see fine details in their images and blueprints.

Without quality resolution images become blurry and less crisp. Impress clients with quality images when you share updates, drafts, and send off final products.

Be careful to note – because you may be seeing HD quality screen resolution, your client or others viewing your projects may not see the same quality due to their computer’s inability to have higher resolution or it being set low.

Why should an architect consider getting a touch screen?

Laptops with touch screen capabilities give architects more freedom and versatility. Touch screen laptops are very hands on, allowing you to put more detail in every draft.

You can use a stylus to sketch, draw, and color the way you want. You can type on the screen instead of using a keyboard and you’ll be able to directly touch the screen instead of using the touchpad or mouse to zoom in on details you may have otherwise missed.

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Be careful when purchasing a laptop with a touchscreen that you intend to use for drawing, because not all styluses can work optimally on certain touchscreens.

Also it may benefit your laptop screen to get a plastic protector for it so you can extend the life of the screen and decrease potential indentations on and below the glass surface.

How important is it to get a laptop that has a long battery life?

Have you ever been in the middle of a meeting or project on your computer and the battery dies? Don’t get delayed projects that need to be delivered quickly.

Having an extended battery life is important to an architect who may spend hours a day away on a jobsite or meeting. Long battery lives are important for long business trips and may save you valuable time finding charging stations and wall plugs.


1. Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop

Description: This is labeled as a gaming laptop but has enough memory and processing power to store file heavy programs for drafting documents and projects on. A powerhouse laptop that runs like a desktop but has fast processing, lots of storage, and a touch screen to set it apart from traditional desktops. This is a laptop that would be optimal for architects, with a touch screen that can be used with a stylus. It’s also fully ready to embrace virtual reality programs and capabilities.

Pros:

  • Comes with a large LED 17 inch screen with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080so you can see documents and projects in fine detail
  • 1 TB solid state hard disk drive for quicker start times and faster data transfer
  • Transition from typing on a keyboard to the touch screen when you want to draw up blueprints
  • Can save you money from having to use pencils, pens, and markers
  • Virtual Reality capable for architects looking to explore or create 3D modeling
  • Back lit rainbow keyboard looks colorful in the dark and gives a modern look to the laptop
  • Comes with Windows operating system
  • Lasts 7.7 hours, which is longer than all the other laptops on this list

Cons:

  • It comes with a mouse pad on the right side, so left handers will feel left out and may have to use the touch screen more or use a wireless mouse
  • While working you may find it annoying that your hand may brush against the mouse pad
  • Finding the right stylus to use on the touchscreen surface of this laptop may be challenging
  • It might be too colorful for you, depending on your style
  • May be too heavy for you at 7.7 pounds
  • Lithium battery can last for up to 7 hours, less than a full work day
  • Doesn’t work like a Mac laptop, research Windows operating systems before purchase

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2. Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop

Description: This is also a gaming laptop but serves a hefty purpose – to run big file programs and store lots of data. It has crisp HD resolution so you don’t have to strain to see what you’re drawing or designing. Also has a solid state hard drive that can turn on and run programs quickly so you can get your work done. The keyboard is backlit, colorful, and can be customized so you can program key bindings that work for you.

Pros:  

  • See quality graphics with a GTX 1070 graphics card
  • It comes with a 15.6 inch LED HD screen that helps you see important details you may have missed
  • Comes with a 256GB solid state hard disk drive that will run the computer quickly
  • Laptop won’t overheat while you run programs that take a lot of power because it has Frost Core Technology
  • Backlit keyboard will help you see what you’re typing during long nights at the office
  • Keyboard is programmable so you can create shortcuts and get work done faster
  • Lots of storage with 1000GB – so you won’t end up having to store files online or on an external hard drive
  • Comes with Windows operating system
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Cons:

  • It only has 3 hours of lithium battery life while not plugged in and running at full capacity, so you’ll need to carry your chord if you are off site
  • Weighs 8.16 pounds which isn’t very light
  • Not a touch screen, so you can’t use a stylus on it to draw directly onto the computer
  • If you’re used to how iPad’s or OS works then you may want to read up how the Windows operating system works

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3. ASUS VivoBook Pro

Description: A lightweight laptop that is good for picking up and taking off quickly on your next project. Professionals will love the clean and sophisticated look of the aluminum exterior. If you want a laptop that’s not flashy like the ones with the backlit keyboard, this one is modest but will help you get structures built and floor plans mapped out.

Pros:

  • Thin and lightweight at 5.6 pounds, which is much lighter than the previous laptops
  • Aluminum shell on the exterior of the laptop instead of plastic
  • Has 4 processors that will run programs very quickly
  • 512 GB solid state hard disk drive to run smoothly
  • 6 inch UHD screen, where the UHD stands for Ultra High Definition
  • Comes with an upgrade of 16GB memory from an original 8GB which is a deal
  • Comes with Windows operating system

Cons:

  • Can keep a charge for a maximum of 3 hours alone and 4 hours on battery so you’ll need to keep your cord handy
  • The laptop comes with a touchpad mouse at the bottom that could be annoying when you are trying to type
  • Doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard like the other laptops
  • Doesn’t come with virtual reality programs already on it
  • Doesn’t say how long the battery will last so this leaves the customer guessing
  • Not a Mac laptop and doesn’t come with OS operating system

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4. Apple MacBook Pro

Description: This laptop looks sleek and simplistically modern like the rest of Apple computer products. You may want to get this laptop if you are looking for a laptop that’s lightweight and easy to carry with you. Will get your job done if you are running multiple programs on it. If you’re a Mac user then you’ll find it easy to navigate, however, you may have to spend time learning how to use this laptop if your old laptop was a Windows operating system.

Pros:

  • Comes with a 15.4 inch screen that allows you to see colorful clear pictures and documents
  • Has an IPS Retina display and Intel Iris Pro graphics card that lets you see quality images, videos, and documents
  • Has an aluminum shell that looks good and isn’t a standard black or grey
  • Comes with a 512GB solid state disk drive so you’ll have enough room to run drafting and other document programs smoothly
  • Weighs only 4.5 pounds so you can take it with you easier than a heavier laptop
  • Comes with OS X Mavericks operating system
  • Has a Lithium Polymer battery
  • Comes with a year warranty

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a colorful backlit keyboard so you may have to purchase costly keyboard skins to customize
  • The aluminum it’s made of is very thin and lightweight, so you may want to be careful not to step or sit on it to prevent dents and bending
  • Does not come with Windows operating system so you may have to update it if you want that instead of OS X Mavericks operating system
  • No virtual reality capabilities so you’ll have to research and possibly invest more money if you want that installed on your computer
  • Has a year warranty but after that you may end up paying more for fixing it and replacing your battery or electrical cord
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5. ASUS ROG STRIX

Description: This is also a gaming laptop with the capacity to run programs that would otherwise cause you to lose storage space. If you need a practical laptop that can play PC games, run AutoCAD, and provide great images for your work presentations then this will do fine.

Pros:

  • Comes with a 15.6 inch high definition screen that you can show off your projects with
  • Is very lightweight, weighing in at 4.9 pounds, so it’ll be easier to transport when you’re rushing from office to job site
  • Has 16GB of system memory, which will run what you need it to without worrying about slowing down switching between tasks
  • Has 1TB of solid state hard drive storage so you can run things smoothly and quickly
  • Enough storage space so you can store pictures of job sites, examples of your work, and anything else that would take up space
  • If you’re familiar with Windows operating system you can use it from the first time you turn it on
  • Better viewability when there’s bright lights that will cause screen glare
  • Has highlighted WASD keys that come in handy when you’re gaming but may also help you when you’re doing keyboard binding

Cons:

  • Not a Mac laptop, nor is it an OS operating system, so if you’re used to that then you may want to reconsider this purchase
  • Comes with a matte display which may dull the vibrancy of the colors being shown on the laptop, which may affect project quality
  • Doesn’t come with a backlit keyboard, which may make it difficult to type in darker settings
  • Comes in neon orange and black details that may or may not appeal to you
  • Has a touchpad at the base of the keyboard which may get in the way of typing and scrolling
  • Doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities which may cost more later when you have to purchase computer compatible drawing pads

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Conclusion:

The best laptop out of the five comparisons is the Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop. It has a decent amount of storage space for big files and running huge complicated programs like AutoCAD, SketchUp, and Home Design Professional. The LED 17 inch screen is wide, so you can display and show off the end result of your hard work to your business associates.

You’ll have seamless processing and transitions from startup to project completion. It even has a touch screen, unlike most laptops out there. To go further, it is capable of running virtual reality programs and 3D modeling, so you can stay ahead of the competitive architectural and design curve.

It even comes with a helpful and exciting rainbow keyboard that standard laptops don’t typically come with. The Razer Blade Pro Gaming Laptop has by far, the longest battery life, making it the most reliable laptop on this list.